Obedience for our Own Good

One of the first words most children learn is “no.” Human nature resists rules. For his own good, however, parents need to set limits for their child. Playing in the fenced yard is OK. Playing in the street is not.

A parent’s responsibility is to help God mold the character of his child. A compassionate parent is also one that is in control. Even when a child does not yet understand the rules set by his parents (never touch a stovetop, don’t run with scissors), he should be confident there is good reason for them. A child should be able to trust his father to know what is best. Rules are boundaries for character development and protection.

Hurricane KatrinaLaws in society are similarly put in place for protection. When they are no longer in place, human nature often takes over with disastrous results. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans gave us a glimpse of what that was like.

Jesus is the only human being who obeyed His Father’s commandments completely. He willingly submitted Himself to our human limitations. As a Man, He learned obedience and set an example for us. His perfect life and sacrificial death released us from the bondage of the law. The law itself is good, but since we are incapable of obeying it perfectly, it was a bondage to us. Jesus’ gift of grace made reconciliation to God possible.

As Christians, we can trust God. We see in His laws His hand of guidance and protection. Jesus fulfilled the law for us and summarized all that it represented in His new commandment to love one another as He loves us. Believers are to be in submission, not under bondage. There is a difference. We are free in Christ. Submission is voluntary. Bondage is not.

We should look at the commandments of God like a child views the instruction of his parents. The boundaries and guidelines are for our protection and our growth.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps (1 Peter 2:21).

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